Beware of dogs, Paul says. Peter goes even further and refers to a dog as one who returns to vomit. Jesus noted that dogs should not be given the Holy.
To what are they referring? Obviously, this is all intended to be taken in a human context, not an animal one. So, what did the writers intend when they said "dog"?
First: a dog was an unclean animal. This means that it was not to be eaten, that it was unclean, to be avoided, and unholy. There are over 40 references to dogs in Scripture, but none are positive. In Psalms 22, they are likened to workers of iniquity, or the evil, God-hating demonic realm. They ingested and carried disease, and a close association would endanger your own health.
Second: dogs were known as scavengers. This tendency to eat carrion connected them to the notion of them being unclean. Wolves kill and desire to kill. Dogs did not kill to eat but scouted around, looking for smelly rotting meat on which to feast. This included the great dishonor of eating human flesh. Being eaten by dogs after death was about as bad an ending as a person of Israel could fathom.
Third: dogs are likened to strife in Prov. 26:17. Dogs love to fight. Fighting, bickering, yowling, and chewing on each other is a general pastime. They provoke conflict and revel in it. Is. 56 refers to them being greedy... one fight, or one dead body, is not enough; they always want more.
Fourth: dogs are noisy and complain. In Psalm 59, they make noise, belching, and complaining if they can't find enough to eat.
Fifth: they tend to vomit up the stuff they ate and then eat it again. Prov. 26:11, and 2 Peter 2:22. This speaks to both a return to evil after being cleansed and a desire to re-experience what was disgusting.
Sixth: Jesus used dogs as a type of what is unclean, unholy, unworthy and of low value. In Matt. 15 and Mark 7, Jesus used this reference to a Greek woman. Both the woman, and those listening, would have easily recognized this as an epithet used by the Jews when referring to those who were Gentiles. However, it is a different form of the word used in Matt. 7:8 "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs..." it was still understood to be an affrontive remark.
Seventh: The notion of dogs seems to include an inordinate, unbridled, unfocussed desire to procreate. In Duet. 23:18, many Rabbis believed this to include male prostitution. Dog nature is always looking for an object for its lust.
Conclusion: Beware of dogs!
Some people simply love the unclean. They delight in taking the dead, rotting corpses of past wrongs and evils and chewing on them greedily. They can't get enough of it, especially if it includes some perversion of sexuality and desire. They want to make a lot of noise but are overall very weak. The idea of creating lots of noise and strife over the rotting carcasses of past sexual sins and perversions is enough to rouse them from characteristic laziness. Then, they will belch, vomit it up, and chew it down again.
In the process, these people ingest and begin to carry disease. They would like to come and share their vomit with you, vomit on you, or defecate in your yard and infect you. They would love to reproduce their misery and debauchery in you, then complain and start a fight.
Paul says, beware of them.
Jesus says, don't take what is holy, separated unto God and valuable, and give it to this type of person. If they are a dog, they will chew it up, vomit, and chew more. If they happen to be a pig, they will trample you and tear you up. Just don't.
John says this type of person will find themselves OUTSIDE of the city Rev. 22:15.
Beware of dogs. Beware of doggish tendencies within. If you have been infected by "dog" and see these elements showing up in your life and desires, seek the only answer: the Shepherd of the sheep. He can help you. -Steve Stutzman